I would just like to pay tribute to Benjamin Luxon baritone. I really only discovered him as an artist recently and I think he has become one of my favorite singers ever. As an artist he is magnificent. He is a wonderful singer and has a sensitivity and empathy for the works he sings that I find exciting and pleasurable. So many singers just rely on a beautiful voice and don't sing. To sing you need to use your entire body and mind and Luxon does. Luxon is intelligent.
Ben Luxon was a student colleague of mine when we were both at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the 1960s. He was the boyfriend of my best friend Lilian Newman and I am afraid to say to me just another student. He was mildly good looking but as I was barely 18 and he was much older and I mean much older! He was 24! I never gave him a thought. Perhaps I was mistaken there!
He came from Cornwall and I came from Devon and I recognized immediately the bond that binds all those who hail from the West Country. He had that earthy attractiveness that exudes from men from that part of the world and which is so attractive. Ross Adkins of BBC World Have Your Say has the same attractive earthiness.
That being said I did not find him at that time attractive at all and I don't think I ever heard him sing. When I left college I never thought about him again even though he joined Britten and The English Opera Group. I too had worked for Benjamin Britten but became disillusioned by his strange behavior and I gladly left Britten behind although he gave me the major kick start to my career for which I shall be forever grateful. Britten did the same for Ben.
Britten went on to star Luxon in Billy Budd and write Owen Wyngrave for him. Britten too was attracted by Luxon's rough ancestry. I often wondered at the time what Ben Luxon must have thought of Britten as the whole set up was very strange!
I then married and left for New Zealand which was very isolated in 1970s and 1980s and Ben was lost completely so it was with tremendous pleasure that I rediscovered my long lost acquaintance a couple of months ago and have been catching up on YouTube ever since.
Bravo Ben! You are a true star. Thanks for some lovely singing. I was very stupid not to have taken more notice of you at the time!